Factors contributing to poor academic performance in chemistry in UCE examinations in Uganda: a case study of Kampala district secondary school students
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The main objective of this study was to identify the factors contributing to poor academic performance in chemistry in UCE examinations of secondary school students in Uganda, a case study of Kampala district schools with more emphasis on the three schools that is St. Mary’s high school Lubaga, Makerere high way college and Alliance standard SS Mengo which have been registered with 0% pass rate in chemistry. It aimed to investigate whether sex of students, participation in chemistry group discussion, attitude of the student towards chemistry subject, availability of chemistry laboratory and its use during chemistry classes contribute to the poor performance of students in chemistry in UCE examinations and I used primary data where Questionnaire method was used to collect data from the senior four students regarding these factors with a total sample size of 198 respondents. In univariate analysis, Of the 198 students interviewed only (29.29%) had score grades in chemistry above C6 and majority of the students had score grade points below C6 with a percentage of (70.71%). Slightly more than a half of the respondents interviewed were female with (53.54%) and the least were male with (46.46%) implying that female students were (7.08%) more than the male, Majority of the students had negative attitude towards chemistry subject (73.73%) few of the students with (26.26%) saying chemistry subject is interesting. Most of the students had discussion groups with (79.29%) and all students had access to the chemistry laboratories though (38.38%) would make better use of them leaving the majority (61.62%) not making better use of them during chemistry classes. In bivariate the study showed that there was a relationship between the independent variables do explain the variation in the dependent variable (score grade points in chemistry) thus making them statistically significant thus all the variables were analyzed in the multivariate analysis since they both had a P-value less than 0.05. Finally in multivariate, a researcher found out that students’ attitude towards chemistry had a big contribution towards poor academic performance of students in chemistry in UCE examinations. Secondary school students continue to consider chemistry as difficult to learn and develop a negative attitude towards it. This leads to low achievement in the subject and reduces their interest. Studies on students' achievement in chemistry have been conducted and different instructional strategies of teaching and learning have been provided.